A lot has changed since Wanted, starring James McAvoy and Angelina Jolie, pulled McAvoy’s Wesley out of a white collar, dead-end job and turned him into an assassin. If Wanted 2 were to happen, it would have to compete with the likes of John Wick, among other action movie heavy hitters. Well, recently, director Timur Bekmambetov shared what he’d like to do with Wanted 2, and let's just say it would involve going down a totally different direction than what you might expect.
Timur Bekmambetov made a big, five-picture deal with Universal Studios recently, according to Deadline. Each picture will be shot in the relatively untapped Screenlife format, similar to the hit movie Unfriended. In response to a possible Wanted 2, Timur Bekmambetov threw this idea out there:
Maybe do the sequel in Screenlife. I cannot imagine an assassin in today’s world would run with a gun. Why? He will use drones, he will use computer technology, probably. You don’t need to bend bullets anymore. You need to bend ideas.
Timur Bekmambetov clearly hasn’t seen John Wick. This new take would be quite a departure from the original format, and since fans of the first film would likely expect more bullet-bending action from James McAvoy, it’s hard to imagine a Screenlife Wanted film being fully embraced by fans.
Most Screenlife movies end up as horror or thriller movies. Unfriended, about a group of friends being haunted online by an account of their dead friend, somewhat helped usher in the new genre. While it didn’t receive the greatest reviews, it raked in $65 million on a $1 million budget.
Years later, Searching, starring John Cho, had an even smaller budget and collected roughly $71 million. It’s about a father who starts digging around in his daughter’s computer after she goes missing. Given how successful Searching and Unfriended were, it’s clear why Universal Studios would want to explore this genre more.
Which leads us to Wanted 2. Since Wanted’s release, news reports have cropped up now and again about the sequel being in development. Back in 2014, producers Marc Platt and John Deluca confirmed a script was written that involved the death of one character and the continuing story of James McAvoy’s character.
If Timur Bekmambetov pursued Wanted 2 with a Screenlife angle, though, I have to imagine that he’d start from scratch. While the Screenlife gimmick seems to work well with horror and thrillers, action movies demand... well, action. It would be quite a trick if Bekmambetov could convince people to shift gears to a movie about an assassin bending ideas rather than bending bullets.
However, given the times we live in, perhaps his idea is not as much of a stretch as it seems. But, what do you think? Would a Screenlife version of Wanted work? Let us know in the comments below!